Tuesday, 4 June 2019

$700K LOOTED FROM ZIFA

At least US$700 000 disbursed by the world’s soccer governing body Fifa disappeared from a Zifa account and found its way into private bank accounts of some of the association’s executive members, court documents have revealed.



Zifa board member responsible for finance Philemon Machana received US$740 000 from the association’s Ecobank nostro account through a company called Conduit Holdings where he was a director at the time the sheriff of the High Court had attached the association’s bank accounts.
Zifa accounts had been garnished over the association’s debt to Daisy Lodge amounting to US$196 000.

It was revealed that some of Zifa’s funds were moved from the association’s bank account into Conduit Holdings while some of it was withdrawn by the association’s general secretary Joseph Mamutse.
Machana claims that he deposited the money back into the Zifa account and the court has demanded to see bank statements confirming the reverse transaction.
Ecobank was dragged to court by Daisy Lodge with the financial institution charged with obstructing the course of justice for allegedly ignoring a court order that had barred 
Zifa from accessing its funds held by the bank.
According to documents at the Harare Magistrates’ Court in the case against Ecobank, Mamutse admits to have withdrawn US$10 000 from the association’s Ecobank account, but claims that when he made the withdrawal, the funds had not yet been judicially attached.
He said the funds were withdrawn for use by the association. He also claimed that only the association’s funds in their Steward Bank account had been attached.
According to the State outline, on January 24, 2019, the High Court ordered the seizure of Zifa funds held at Ecobank, but this was disregarded.
“On January 24, 2019 and at the High Court of Zimbabwe, Ecobank Borrowdale Sam Levy branch — being represented by Webster Mehlo — and Webster Mehlo or one or both of them unlawfully disregarded a notice of seizure and attachment made on January 22, requiring the accused to transfer the sum of US$196 049,49 held in the Zifa foreign currency accounts with the accused and transferred US$740 270 and a further US$10 000 to Conduit Investments and Mr Mamutse respectively knowing that such accounts held in the name of Zifa by the accused were under judicial attachment,” the State’s case read in part.
The first accused in the matter is Ecobank Sam Levy Borrowdale, represented by Mehlo, the head of corporate security and investigation services.
Mehlo is also the second accused in his official capacity.
Daisy is represented by Yvonne Agatha Mapika.
The matter implicates the bank and Zifa officials of connivance to move the money, which had been garnished and was supposed to be moved into the sheriff’s account for onward transmission to creditors. Newsday

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